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Press media reporting effects on risk perceptions and attitudes towards genetically modified (GM) food

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  • Vilella-Vila, Marta
  • Costa-Font, Joan
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    Abstract

    Little is known about the role and mechanisms through which the press media reporting influences attitudes and risk perceptions. Whilst some approaches stress the prevalent idea that risks are partly the creation or amplification of the media, other scholars find that the media plays a rather neutral role as a conveyor only, which calls for further empirical exploration, especially in areas where consumers have limited knowledge. This paper examines both quantitative and qualitative empirical evidence to scrutinize whether the press media coverage and reporting had some effect on the change in attitudes towards and risk perceptions of new genetically modified (GM) foods between 1999 and 2004 in Spain and the United Kingdom (UK). Results suggest that differences in media reporting along with attitudes towards journalism correlate with attitudes and risk perception to GM food whilst trust does not appear to exert any significant effect. This result reinforces the hypothesis of a media bias in newly created technology risks.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics).

    Volume (Year): 37 (2008)
    Issue (Month): 5 (October)
    Pages: 2095-2106

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:soceco:v:37:y:2008:i:5:p:2095-2106

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    Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/620175

    Related research

    Keywords: Media content analysis Genetically modified food Risk perceptions Trust and media bias;

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    1. Sendhil Mullainathan & Andrei Shleifer, 2005. "The Market for News," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(4), pages 1031-1053, September.
    2. Verbeke, Wim & Ward, Ronald W., 2001. "A fresh meat almost ideal demand system incorporating negative TV press and advertising impact," Agricultural Economics, Blackwell, vol. 25(2-3), pages 359-374, September.
    3. Sendhil Mullainathan & Andrei Shleifer, 2002. "Media Bias," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1981, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
    4. S.S. Vickner, 2004. "Media Coverage of Biotech Foods and Influence on Consumer Choice," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 86(5), pages 1238-1246.
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    Cited by:
    1. Jennifer Beverly & Peter Bothwell, 2011. "Wildfire evacuations in Canada 1980–2007," Natural Hazards, International Society for the Prevention and Mitigation of Natural Hazards, vol. 59(1), pages 571-596, October.

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